Jean Dubuffet: Artist Portrait

Jean Dubuffet

Born 1901. Died 1985.

Works by Jean Dubuffet at Sotheby's

Past Lots

Jean Dubuffet Biography

Born to wine merchants in 1901 in Le Havre, France, Jean Dubuffet transitioned between winemaking and art until fully dedicating himself to his creative practice in 1942. In 1918, DuBuffet had attended the acclaimed Academie Julien in Paris and there formed friendships with fellow painters Fernand Legér and André Masson. Dubuffet quickly found the academy too rigid, and left to study independently immersing himself in poetry, music and language. After marrying in 1924 he established a small wine business and though he returned to painting in 1934 with a series of portraits, he stopped soon after during the Nazi Occupation of France.

French painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet was the founder of the art movement known as Art Brut during the 1940s. He is remembered for his cultivation of ‘low art.” In 1942, Dubuffet made a dedicated return to painting, depicting urban subject matter – crammed city blocks, people riding the metro or walking down the street. In these works his colors are bold and solid, showing the influence of Fauvism and German Expressionism. It was a 1945 visit to a Jean Fautrier exhibition that brought Dubuffet to his artistic breakthrough. He considered Fautrier’s works an attempt at pure expression and was inspired by his incorporation of nontraditional materials into his canvases. Dubuffet then began mixing materials including mud, sand, pebbles, glass string and other materials into oil paint, creating a thick paste, which applied with a painting spatula. He was able to carve and cut lines into the textured surface. The works were infused with an irony and humor.

Dubuffet’s works are included in major museum collections around the world including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Tate Modern, London, and the Fondation Jean Dubuffet, Paris. His paintings continue to perform well at auction. According to Sotheby’s Mei Moses, the average compound annual return for Jean Dubuffet resold at auction between 2003 and 2017 was 7.7%. 90.5% of 190 such works increased in value.

Read More

Auctions with Works by Jean Dubuffet

Jean Dubuffet Videos and Stories

Museums with Works by Jean Dubuffet

Related Artists

We use our own and third party cookies to enable you to navigate around our Site, use its features and engage on social media, and to allow us to perform analytics, remember your preferences, provide services that you have requested and produce content and advertisements tailored to your interests, both on our Site as well as others. For more information, or to learn how to change your cookie or marketing preferences, please see our updated Privacy Policy & Cookie Policy.

By continuing to use our Site, you consent to our use of cookies and to the practices described in our updated Privacy Policy.

Close
Artist Image: © The Estate of Jean Dubuffet / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 2018 / Apic/RETIRED / Contributor
Please note that prior performance of the indexes and realized returns contained herein does not guarantee future results. In addition, there is no guarantee that random collections of individual works of art or stocks will yield index returns. We are not financial advisors and we are not in the business of recommending art as an investment. We also have no comparative advantage in forecasting the future direction of the art market. Investment decisions should be based on the risk return tolerance and time horizon of the investor with, if desired, the support of a licensed financial advisor. This information is provided "as is" and with no representations or warranties either express or implied of accuracy, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or of any other nature are made with respect to this information or to any expressed views presented in this information.